Pretty Little Liars (#1-4) by Sara Shepard

As you may have noticed, I’ve been reading the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard for the first time and honestly rather enjoying myself! The television series was something that I loved until it got super convoluted and it was obvious no one had any idea where things were going. I legit watched closely like an investigator 🔍 and took notes to figure out who A was, but by the end of the series I was spite-watching it just to see how it ended. Spoiler alert: not well. Many people told me that the book series was better (which is often the case with adaptation) and completely different.

I wanted to do something a little different with my review for Pretty Little Liars. The way the series is written is each arc is really one story (so books 1-4 roughly follow seasons 1 and 2, ending with the first A reveal). It made the most sense to me to review the arcs of the series in one post, so here is my review for books 1-4 of Pretty Little Liars!

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Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

”But nobody can beat fate – not even her. Nobody can outrun the wind.”

I feel like I have read a lot of fantasy this year that is along the lines of “King is not doing well, finds abandoned daughter(s) to save the kingdom” cliche, and sadly this wasn’t executed in a way that stands apart.

As a lover of mythology, I was really excited to be granted a review copy of Outrun the Wind and read a retelling of the Greek myth of Atalanta. For those that are familiar with the source myths, be prepared for this book’s departures and liberties from the source mythology.

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Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha

“The knowing of what’s coming, the death that creeps up over the town like fate clawing at the door of every shop and home. I can feel it in the air, in the spray of the sea, in the hollow spaces between raindrops. The sisters are coming.”

Reading books that have been highly recommended to me by multiple people always makes me a little nervous, but I am so happy to say that The Wicked Deep is worth the hype! If you are looking for the perfect Halloween read, look no further: The Wicked Deep is captivatingly written and feels almost magical with its prose. I was spellbound!

The Town of Sparrow has a sordid past and has done the most American thing in response: turned it into a tourist attraction. Two hundred years ago, three sisters were drowned after being found guilty of witchcraft, and every year for three weeks they possess the bodies of three teenage girls and lure men to a watery end. The possessed girls have no memory of what happened during the Swan Season and no one can tell that the girl is possessed…

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The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

My initial thoughts when seeing this blurb was “Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity? Don’t mind if I do!” Despite being a paranormal skeptic, I cannot get enough of ghost stories; however, The Dark Beneath the Ice missed the mark for me. Drawn in by the premise of missing time and paranormal activity, these elements are very much there but to me that wasn’t the main focus of the story. It is as much of a family drama about the breakdown of a family and the struggles of divorce on a family as it is a supernatural story.

The silence still clings to me. If I close my eyes it’s there waiting for me, filling my mouth, heavy as water. Ready to swallow me again.

The opening lines captivated me straight away, and it is clear that Bérubé is a talented writer who has a poetic way with words.

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Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Reading this book brought back memories of watching Pretty Little Liars; if you enjoyed the tv show I would recommend this to you! This is a book full of deadly secrets, political intrigue, and a fantasy world where the ruling class is out of touch with the people over whom they rule. While these are ingredients that I love to read, I unfortunately found the execution for Rule to be a bit lacking: the characters were one-dimensional, character relationships to have little to no development to justify their actions, and I was left wanting more worldbuilding. The base ideas are interesting and intriguing, but in my opinion need more development.

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